The heads of Republican party on chopping block..
Cumulus Media is reportedly planning to drop both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from its stations at the end of 2013. A source tells Politico's Dylan Byers that the broadcaster has already has decided not to renew either of the syndicated talkers' contracts. The move would take two of the best-known conservative talk hosts off the air in over 40 markets.
According to Politico's source, the decision to drop Limbaugh and Hannity came after negotiations broke down between Cumulus and Premiere Networks, due to disagreements over distribution rights costs. Politico notes that "Cumulus is known to drive a hard bargain on costs, and Clear Channel is known to seek top dollar for big names," and though both sides have seen negotiations stall out and resume in the past, in this case, "Clear Channel was unlikely to reduce the cost for distribution rights to a level that would satisfy Cumulus."
Sources also told Politico that Cumulus has been reaching out to find new talent to fill Limbaugh's and Hannity's time slots. Cumulus would also likely elevate one of its other Talk hosts into their slots, such as Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin or Michael Savage.
Limbaugh has been an issue for Cumulus over the past year, due to the boycott of his show after his controversial comments in 2012 about Sandra Fluke. In May, Cumulus Chairman/President/CEO Lew Dickey told Bloomberg TV that Cumulus lost "millions of dollars" due to the backlash against Limbaugh and its News/Talk division had taken a financial hit. When asked if conservative Talk hosts "don't have as big of a place on radio as they once did" given the politics in America today, Dickey replied, "I think everything has to evolve...and we see that the general public is evolving, society is evolving, but I think we have to make sure these radio stations do a wonderful job of reflecting the local communities in which they compete."
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